Archive for August 14th, 2012
Via Gamasutra, this news:
Angry Birds-maker Rovio hired Oskar Burman, a game industry vet with solid hardcore console street cred, to head up a new studio in Stockholm. They’re going to build a new team out.
Speculation is that Burman’s group will be working on either midcore or hardcore games. This could be a really interesting move for Rovio. They’ve obviously done very well in the casual space, racking up a multibillion dollar valuation from the various Angry Birds games and merchandising, and continuing to do well by buying and retooling Casey’s Contraptions into Amazing Alex.
With a huge capitalization, cash on hand, and tons of mobile experience, if Rovio can get a chunk of its existing players to try some deeper games, the sky is literally the limit on how much money they can make (midcore and hardcore games both tend to monetize at much higher rates and at much higher lifetime value and ARPDAU than casual games).
Part of my job is playing every social and mobile game that crosses my awareness-field (I’m a robot, so I have an awareness-field, whatever that is). It helps to get a sense of what’s going on in the marketplace, see who’s doing interesting work, and see if there are any cool new mechanics or themes out there.
Bravo just put out a Real Housewives social game. Now, admittedly, I am not the target audience for this game. I have seen a few episodes of the various Real Housewives series over the years; my wife is addicted to them and likes to watch episodes on her computer while getting ready to go out.
The game has some polished but generic graphics. At its core, there’s almost zero innovation; it feels like Sorority Life or Top Girl/It Girl, a gossipy skinned light RPG where you do menial tasks like chatting with people or dancing with clubbers to earn more stats to unlock more quests. I suppose if I was a woman or a bigger fan of the shows, then I’d appreciate how you can interact with game versions of the reality TV stars. But I’m not. And I have a personal hatred of Bravo TV’s Andy Cohen which borders on the irrational. Cohen was the executive for several of their TV shows, and somehow he wound up becoming an on-air personality and the host of all of the series wrap-ups and even has a nightly talk show on Bravo now. So when he wandered into the club and my fictional housewife got to meet with him, I pretty much checked out right there.